YUMA, Ariz. - Marine Corps Air Station Yuma aviators have been experiencing incidents involving lasers being aimed at their aircraft during approaches to the air station.
As recent as January 19, 2018, pilots conducting landings experienced incidents involving green lasers being aimed at their aircraft. This incident is the fourth reported incident experienced by MCAS Yuma pilots since the beginning of the year. Other incidents occurred on 9, 12, and 17 January, 2018.
A laser, when aimed at an aircraft, can create a visual distraction or even damage to the pilot's eyes. There is potential for aircraft mishaps to occur resulting in loss of life.
Pointing lasers at aircraft is illegal under both national and state laws. U.S. FDA/CDRH: 21 CFR 1040.10/11 covers laser products and three uses of lasers. U.S.C. Title 18, Chapter 2, Sec. 39A. Aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft, provides language stating the penalties associated with pointing lasers at aircraft. Those in violation can serve up to 5 years in prison and/or be required to pay up to a $250,000 fine. The state of Arizona has a law prohibiting aiming a laser pointer at a peace officer or an occupied aircraft; Arizona revised Statutes, Title 13 Criminal Code.
Safety is of the utmost importance. It is strongly advised not to point lasers at passing aircraft and to report violations to the local authorities.